The 2015 KERRIGAN + BERRY Shiraz is dense and dark, almost black in colour indicating great fruit
ripeness and intensity. The nose is brooding, with dark cherry and chocolate aromas.
The palate is
immense with ripe and fleshy fruit flavours and firm structural tannin. In its youth this wine will benefit
enormously from decanting to allow the full expression of aroma and flavour.
It has been a carefree run for winemakers over the last eight seasons with perfect seasons following
one after another, and then 2015 came along and took us out of our comfort zone.
The growing season really starts in September/October of the year before, this is early in the growth
cycle of the vine with new shoot growth and the emergence of tiny bunches of grapes, or more
precisely tiny clusters of what might become grapes if the conditions allow. However, in this late part
of 2014, in October particularly, we experienced some of the wildest windiest weather for decades,
unfortunately just when a number of grape varieties were flowering, and it is these flowers that
when set become berries. The spring of 2014 was one of the worst flowerings on record with windy
and wet conditions seriously compromising fruit set with the result that the yields of 2015 were the
lowest that I have experienced in 23 years of growing grapes in the South West. Ouch.
The season itself was quite warm in the early part, and very dry. Easy conditions that produced very
excellent quality white grapes but in quantities well below expectations. We had a break between
white and red varieties as the summer stuttered with some cooler weather giving an extended
ripening period for red varieties resulting in well coloured and beautifully ripe grapes.
Grapes harvested at full ripeness in the cool of the night were crushed into open topped fermentation
vessels, colour and tannin extraction was facilitated with both plunging and pumping over of the
fermenting liquid. At dryness the wine was pressed off skins with retention of the pressings in the
blend. This dark wine was then matured in 100% French oak barriques for 15 months.